In the fall of 2003, I was a girl who had just pledged into a sorority, recently lost my Dad, and was, admittedly, rather lost.
In a bold decision I decided to live in my sorority house that year, my sophomore year of college. The thing was, I had not made any friends in the sorority yet, and the few girls I was getting close to in my pledge class had chosen to live out of house. On the day my boyfriend and his brother moved me in (now my husband and brother-in-law) I cried and asked them not to leave me. Craving comfort and familiarity more than anything, I felt lost in in the walls of the old antebellum house and in the company of girls I did not know.
My sorority house in college
I went to college at the University of Georgia, where pledging a sorority seemed to be a quintessential part of the college experience and I sought out a family within the walls of an old Southern home. It’s what lead me to bid at that sorority in the first place; the old southern charm of the white columned house with black shutters. It was the prettiest house on Milledge Avenue, the road where all of the sorority and fraternity houses were located.
As it turned out, my sorority experience wasn’t all positive, because I felt I didn’t always fit in as a traditional sorority girl.
But I did find that in the upper corner of that house lived some of my greatest friends, two girls who I became incredibly close to during long nights of studying, drinking wine, and watching marathons of Sex in the City. These ladies became more than sorority sisters and roommates, they became true friends, and we all stood beside each other on our wedding days.
I remember beginning to think of that house as sort of a home at a time in my life when “home” was being redefined.
I ate dinner there, had meaningful conversations, lots of laughs, and even did Pilates every Tuesday in the formal parlor. How fancy is that?
I never yearn for college, because in all of the chapters of my life, that was not my favorite. I feel much more at home in my current stage of life than I ever did with big tests and nights of partying. My entire college experience was overshadowed by losing my Dad my first semester, and I spent a lot of time in the counseling department sorting, processing, and grieving.
I just saw a post on my personal Facebook of a recent Reunion Day where alumni were encouraged to come back and tour the newly renovated house. The beautiful antebellum mansion I called home for a year was updated and restored, and a beautiful addition was put on the house expanding it’s size but not taking away from it’s character.
And I found myself, just for a moment, yearning for the days before a mortgage and a husband and a toddler when I could call the four walls of that beautiful white house home and drink wine and watch Sex in the City marathons with my girlfriends.
And then I remembered that one day, this too will be a memory. The toy-strewn messy house, the toddler hugs; my husband and I still towards the beginning of our adventure.
And so I cherish the memories of that old white house, and I smile at the pictures of the beautiful renovations. And then I look at where I am now, pick up a pirate sword discarded on the floor in a quiet house where my husband and son are sleeping, and smile. For this too, is a memory to be cherished.
And tonight, in the midst of cherishing and collecting memories, I needed to gain that perspective.
*A link to the newly renovated Alpha Gamma Delta house at the University of Georgia: http://lisapoole.phanfare.com/6032969*
Linking up with Yeah Write, a wonderful blogging and writing community, for the first time in far too long.